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What are the best ethnic markets in Memphis?

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I'm moving to Clarksdale, MS and so far as I know Memphis will be the nearest big city with any hope of good ethnic markets - Asian, Mexican / Latin American, Italian, Eastern European. What are they? Anyone know of any others within an hour or two drive of Clarksdale, MS?

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  1. Hey again! (I posted on your Clarksdale thread, too). The best advice I can give you for Memphis is to go straight to the Winchester Farmer's Market. It is, first of all, NOT a farmer's market. There's tons of pan-Asian, Latin, and Mexican products, and also some Indian, Middle Eastern, and West African. I always go there first, then head to smaller markets, Whole Foods, and Fresh Market to round out my shopping. You're coming from LA, I know, but even so I must recommend coming hungry and eating from the (mostly) Mexican carts and trucks in the parking lot. Have fun!

    1 Reply
    1. re: tracytrace

      Hey again, here. Sounds great. It will be very nice, making me feel at home, to have Mexican carts and trucks somewhere I can get to.

    2. In addition to Winchester Farmer's Market, Viet Hoa on Cleveland in midtown and the Cordova Farmer's Market (same owners as Winchester) in Cordova are also very good. Coming fro MS, Winchester is on the south side of the city and might be the closest.

      Not sure about ethnic markets, but there is a lot of really great food in Oxford, MS. That will be a closer drive than Memphis, I think.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bulldogx2

        Thanks. I'm looking forward to exploring. And I promise I'll post back here with my findings.

      2. Any good Italian, other Mediterranean or Eastern European markets in Memphis as well? I gather that Winchester has Latin American, as well as Asian, products, so I guess that is covered - although a tortilleria would come in handy.

        5 Replies
        1. re: estone888

          www.finosmemphis.com Fino's is downtown on Madison, and they are awesome. It's a restaurant/deli/market. So good.
          Also, Lucchesi's (www.lucchesis.com) has amazing ravioli and some market items as well.

          1. re: tracytrace

            Just got back from dim sum followed by an excursion to my favorite Italian market - that's across the street from great dim sum - about a 25 minute drive from my current home, so I was realizing how important this question was to me. Thanks for the answer. Good to know. I have even heard of a couple of dim sum places in Memphis, so it is looking like, while I truly love them dearly, I will not have to survive on ribs and fried chicken and catfish alone. (I'm joking, sort of, I've spent enough time in the Delta to know that I will be able to eat and shop for a much wider variety of food than the stereotypes would have it.)

            1. re: estone888

              The variety is here, for sure, or at least within driving distance. It just does take a bit of, well, let's say "mindfulness," to have a truly varied and expansive food-life here. If it's midnight and you suddenly crave sushi or bahn mi or ... Doughnuts, anything really, you're pretty much SOL unless you've planned ahead. But, you can probably find some rib tips and tamales with no trouble!

          2. re: estone888

            Fino's came to my mind for Italian. It's a great Italian deli with delicious sandwiches, but the market is not that impressive. Lucchesi's has good food as well, but again, not a big "market." Not sure where you are coming from - we unfortunately do not have a lot of great Italian/Eastern European grocery stores - not like St. Louis, for instance.

            Re: Mediterranean (and by that, I guess I mean more Greek/Middle-Eastern than, say, Italian, French, or Spanish), there is a pretty good one at Park and Highland in east Memphis - Mediterranean Grocery, I think, and a smaller one called Jerusalem Market on Summer near Graham, also east Memphis.

            Winchester makes tortillas onsite. There's also another place with a couple of locations called Tortilleria La Unica - I have seen them but haven't stopped in.

            1. re: bulldogx2

              Glad to hear about the fresh tortillas at Winchester. And thanks for the other possibilities. Between what I'm hearing from all of you, my fellow hounds, and the internet, I should do just fine.

          3. Hey, I just went to the Winchester Farmers Market and was very impressed. If it were in Los Angeles, I'd shop there - and that is really saying something. A very nice selection of both Latin American and Asian products, fresh and otherwise. They even had rambutan - my favorite fruit from Indonesia, and a lot of different fresh and dried chilies. To top it all of the taco vendor in the parking lot makes a very very good al pastor taco and a good carne asada. Thank you all so much for the recommendation. I hope I can get to know Memphis well enough to make some good recommendations in return.

            5 Replies
            1. re: estone888

              Yay! It's really one of the treasures of Memphis. I hope the rest of your move goes smoothly!

              1. re: tracytrace

                Thanks. So far so good, though house hunting is a little daunting. I did also stop in Jackson on the way here and the market at Mr. Chen's Chinese restaurant is pretty good - not on a par with Winchester Farmers, but if someone needs something in Jackson, MS it will do nicely.

                The one thing that Winchester seemed to be missing was fresh tofu. They had a good variety of pre-packaged refrigerated tofu, but it would be great if I could find fresh somewhere. Any ideas?

                And yet another question - is there anywhere to get fairly good dim sum in Memphis? Or a Shanghainese restaurant with Shanghai style dumplings like Xiao Long Bao - soup dumplings, juicy pork dumplings - they seem to get translated in a lot of ways - and Shanghai style noodle dishes.

                1. re: estone888

                  I am sorry to say I know less than nothing of fresh tofu. Truly, I don't know that I've ever had it. I have enjoyed tofu in restaurants, but I've no idea if it was fresh or packaged. Sorry.

                  The only dim dum I've had in Memphis was at a big place out on Summer Ave. called, I believe, Asian Palace. I've been a couple of times and enjoyed it, but I am no expert. There were a significant number of Asian families eating there, which I took as a good sign.

                  And for househunting in Clarksdale ... Oy. I wish you luck.

                  1. re: tracytrace

                    Thanks for the Asian Palace recommendation. I'll give it a try. (My Christmas day tradition is dim sum with friends and a movie matinee. I'm planning ahead.)

                    Fresh tofu does have a somewhat different flavor. Strangely enough I think one of the Chinese takeaway places here makes their own. I may have to cultivate their friendship and see if I can buy some. If I can't, the pre-packaged brands they have at Winchester are very good quality - especially the Korean one.

                    1. re: estone888

                      Try the Great China Food Market for fresh tofu 5137 Summer Ave Memphis, TN 38122 or The Farmer's Market International 1150 N Germantown Pkwy Memphis, TN 38018
                      (901) 417-8407. Both are wonderful ethnic markets!